Monday, March 7, 2011

Nannup: wonderful, brilliant, amazing...inspired...and tired!

So we have made our weary way home from the Nannup Music Festival.  A whole weekend (starting Friday afternoon) of live and amazing music in the beautiful old timber town of Nannup, about 3 hours south of Perth (or longer with small children who have to stop on the way home and play at the Apple Fun Park in Donnybrook, and stop again at the roadside 'conveniences' on the Forrest Highway!)

I am soooo tired, but what a wonderful weekend.  The opening concert on Friday was fabtabulous...perfect weather, a warm clear night.  We spread our picnic blanket and cushions out on the lawn under the beautiful stars, the gorgeous gum trees ringing the amphitheatre spreading their pale branches to the sky.  There were kids everywhere, playing and dancing and just running laps around the perimeter...ours disappeared off to run around with the rest and dance down the front, reappearing at regular intervals for hugs and snacks.  The music was brilliant.  I really don't get to see enough live music, and I sometimes forget how amazing it is to see musicians playing live to a real live (and loud) audience.  Beloved and I lazily looked at each other at about 9pm....."so should we take the kids back to your mum?" (this was the original plan)....."well, we'd have to find them first"......"Oh what the heck, they're having fun, it's the weekend."  So 11.30pm found the four of us still dancing down the front to the incredible sounds of a young guitar whiz (who also plays the didgeridoo, and the the same time as playing the guitar!), and licking the sugar from fresh, hot, made-while-you-wait doughnuts off our fingers.  Bliss!

Saturday and we were down in town fairly early, to see the Fairy concert (for small people) and wander about popping in to various venues to listen and enjoy.  A Bolivian group in the marquee, some cool reggae, a sweet guitar duo in the town hall, some really pumping blues and lots of great Aussie folk to make you get up and dance (owww, my poor knees).  Later in the evening, the damn fine fiddle and bodhran from a band all the way from Cape Breton, and a singer/songwriter who made me cry then made me snort (I try not to, really) with laughter all in the space of about 10 minutes.

Well, it went on like that all day yesterday too, and even a drop in temperature and a 10 minute rain shower couldn't dampen spirits at the concert last night.  But that cleared and the stars came out and another brilliant night was had!

What sticks in my mind particularly were the number of incredible talented youngsters, 15, 16 and 17 years old, who took the stage like old hands.  And also (being a woman and therefore noticing these things), the number of fabulous female artists.  I don't think there was a single band that had the old 'pretty girl up front and all-male band behind' line-up.  There were a large number of bands that were all, or most, women, and a lot that had a good mix of male and female musicians...great to see a whole bunch of female drummers, bass and lead guitar players.  And MAN, could they play!

So, I've decided to hunt the stand-outs (for me) down on Youtube, and over the next week or so, I'll post a few videos, of live performances if I can find them, so you can get an idea of what I saw this last weekend.  I'll start with The Hussy Hicks, a couple cool gals from Queensland (with a couple guests on base and harmonica).  I really don't know what else to say about them, they were AWESOMENESS personified.  I couldn't decide so I've uploaded two videos, they performed both of these songs this weekend (no Nannup 2011 Vids up yet, but I'm sure there will be soon).  If the amphitheatre had a roof, their closing rendition of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" would have sent it into orbit.

And an original song by Julz Parker, the awesome (yes, I've over used that word, but I can't think of a better one!) guitarist, about a wee brush with the law in the US...with her dad on the harmonica!  There's more on Youtube, go check them out!

We'll definitely be back for more next year!


Alice said...

I'm a huge festival fan! Its about this time of year that I start looking about at line ups and thinking about which ones I'd like to go to this year. Usually some regular favourites and trying to fit in a trip to somewhere new.

You've whetted my appetite now for those spring and summer weekends coming up, when I'll also be rolling home exhausted, almost certainly very grimy and definitely content!

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